There Are Newly Painted Utility Boxes in the Park!

Charlesgate Park now has two beautiful Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) utility boxes, painted over the period of July 7th through 12th. They were commissioned and funded by The Charlesgate Alliance, with permission from DCR, and executed by Stephanie Li with the assistance of Jane Kim-Testa. The box in the Grove part of the park celebrates the Muddy River. The other box, in South Field, honors the area where we are proposing to put a dog park.

Additional thanks to Alice Li, Connor Graham, and Mike Yeung for their help prepping and painting the boxes!

More about Stephanie Li: Stephanie Li is an artist and muralist residing in Brookline. Inspired by nature, they enjoy illustrating whimsical, colorful, and fantastical scenes. They hope that through their work, they can bring a sense of wonder into the everyday and help people feel a little less alone in this world. Learn more:

More about Jane Kim-Testa: Jane Kim-Testa is a writer and self-taught artist who focuses primarily on abstract acrylic paintings, acrylic pet portraiture, and cartoon family portraits. They reside in Brookline with their husband and domestic blizzard (dog). Learn more:

For a short video about the painting of the utility boxes:

Project Place Employed to Help Clean the Park

The Charlesgate Alliance is again employing Project Place for the summer of 2023 to help supplement what the Department of Conservation and Recreation does to keep the Charlesgate area clean. This is the fifth summer Project Place has been hired.

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Unsightly Fence Removed

Thanks to Jenn Carter, president of the Bay State Road Neighborhood Association, Charlesgate Alliance board members Pam Beale and Margaret Pokorny, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, 650 feet of unsightly chain link fence in Charlesgate were removed in December 2020 by Cambridge Landscape. This BPDA money for beautification of the neighborhood was made available through the Fenway Park Demonstration Project. Other benefits beyond clearer views are ease of access for vegetative management, trash clean up, and routine landscape maintenance.

Movie Night

The Charlesgate Alliance and Emerald Necklace Conservancy hosted the first Movie Night in Charlesgate in September 2019, thanks to a grant from the Solomon Foundation.

DCR Replaces Olmsted-Era Railings and 1960s Lights

In March 2019 the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) replaced Olmsted-era railing around Charlesgate and Beacon Street. Later that year the DCR replaced the 1960s lights in the park both in the Grove and Circles areas. Thanks to Patrice Kish at DCR for her leadership on these projects.

Charlesgate Chairs

15 lightweight Charlesgate Chairs were donated to the Charlesgate Alliance and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy by the Solomon Foundation for the Summer of 2018. The Alliance added chairs for Summer 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023. We also now have a seasonal contract with Project Place to clean the park and tend to the Charlesgate Chairs from April through November.

People Sitting in Charlesgate Chairs; Photo by Jules Milner-Brage

Photo by Julian Agin-Liebes

Staging Area Returned to Parkland

After the advocacy of the Charlesgate Alliance and Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the staging area of work trailers for the Department of Transportation off of Charlesgate East north of Beacon Street was vacated and replanted with grass in Spring 2018.

CPA Approves $400,000 for Design and Engineering in Charlesgate Park

The City of Boston’s Community Preservation Commission approved $400,000 from Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for design and engineering of Charlesgate Park improvements on February 11th. The recommendation was approved by the Mayor and then unanimously by the City Council on March 6th. Special thanks to Christine Poff, Mayor Marty Walsh, and City Councilor Josh Zakim for their support on this funding. In conjunction with the $250,000 received by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy from the Commonwealth in December, this should be enough to get us to a shovel-ready design for the park south of Beacon Street. For more information see this Boston Guardian article.

Charlesgate Alliance Provides Pruning in Charlesgate Park

Thanks to a $15,000 grant through the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) from the Fenway Park Demonstration Project Community Benefits, the Charlesgate Alliance was able to prune trees and clear brush in Charlesgate Park in late January-early February 2019. Special thanks to Margaret Pokorny for her leadership on this project.

First Boston Globe Coverage of Our Project

The first coverage of our project in the Boston Globe appeared in an editorial on Sunday, August 5th, 2018.

Here is the response letter to the Boston Globe from Parker James, Pam Beale and Karen Mauney-Brodek.

$250,000 from Commonwealth Granted for Charlesgate Park Design and Engineering Work

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy received $250,000 in early December 2018 for Charlesgate Park improvements from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in association with the Charlesgate Alliance. This grant — a result of the Charlesgate Alliance’s partnership with the Conservancy — supports planning, design, and engineering work for improvements to Charlesgate Park, which were developed in a public community process co-led by Charlesgate Alliance, Landing Studio architects, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Solomon Foundation in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation from Fall 2017 to Summer 2018. We are grateful to State Senator Will Brownsberger and Representatives Jay Livingstone and Byron Rushing for their help in stewarding this support.

Public Meetings About Charlesgate Park

We had a Walk Around DCR Charlesgate Park event on September 16th, 2017, and Talk About events on October 10thDecember 4th, and April 9th. The final Walk Around and Talk event for the community process happened in the park on June 9th, 2018.

On November 5, 2018, Ron Mallis of Boston APP/Lab presented a design workshop on Charlesgate Park.

On June 12, 2019, we offered our first brainstorming meeting about a dog park.

The public meeting on October 15, 2019, allowed the Department of Transportation to present their plans for the area north of Beacon Street.

Solomon Foundation Grant Provides Matching Funding for Emerald Necklace Conservancy and Charlesgate Alliance to Hire Architectural Firm

We received our first grant from the Solomon Foundation, matched by funds from our own constituency, in the Summer of 2017. This allowed us to hire the Landing Studio architectural firm in September 2017 to lead the Charlesgate Improvement Outreach Process and Concept Design, which concluded in June 2018.

Charlesgate Cleanup Days

In conjunction with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and the Charles River Watershed Association, we had Charlesgate area cleanup days on April 29, 2017April 28, 2018 and April 27, 2019.

We have worked with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy on April cleanup days since 2021, including 2022 and 2023.


We have also had a number of fundraisers. Here is a complete list of past events.